Ms. Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, has today [4 January 2021] nominated Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
In her nomination letter to Nobel Committee in Oslo (copy attached) Ms. Maguire wrote:
“My reasons for nominating them together are simple. Individually each has given countless examples of courage exposing governments’ illegal actions that caused millions of deaths – putting their own freedom and lives on the line.
“Collectively, their lives of self-sacrifice and selflessness constitute remarkable demonstrations of the magnificence of the human spirit. They are indeed breathtaking testimonies to the goodness inherent in the human heart.
“The Nobel Committee could protect and help save the lives of these three Champions of Peace by awarding them the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. By doing so the Committee would honour the will of Nobel, in acknowledging true heroes of Peace. The Nobel Committee would also give great hope to publishers, journalists, writers, and many who face repression and persecution by their governments as they struggle to be writers of truth and history of humanity.”
4th January, 2021
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Henrik Ibsen’s gate 51
O255 Oslo, Norway
Dear Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, I hope this finds you well.
I am herein nominating these three individuals, as a group, for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
All three have been individually nominated in previous years for the Peace Prize, but none received it to date. My reasons for nominating them together are simple.
Individually, each has given countless examples of courage exposing governments’ illegal actions that caused millions of deaths—putting their own freedoms and lives on the line.
Collectively, their lives of self-sacrifice and selflessness constitute remarkable demonstrations of the magnificence of the human spirit. They are indeed breathtaking testimonies to the goodness inherent in the human heart.
Today around the world, when we listen or read about violence, militarism, poverty, war, pandemics, climate change, and particularly the suffering of millions of little children hungry in a rich world, it is hard not to feel despair and wonder… ‘where is the hope?’ However, the hope lies in the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to serve and help others even sometimes at the cost of their own lives.
Our hope lies in lives like those of Chelsea, Ed and Julian, their altruism helping restore our faith in ourselves and in our brothers and sisters everywhere. We allow ourselves to be inspired by their courage and example as they motivate us to act. If they are capable of such great acts of love, maybe we too can do something for others – at least we can try to keep the Golden Rule, ‘do unto others as you would have them do to you’ (which all religions preach). We each can try to do no harm, and try to do what is right.
Chelsea Manning, as an American soldier based in Iraq, could not go along with the murder of Iraqi civilians. Julian Assange, as a publisher, had to do his duty and disclose facts of the Iraqi and Afghan wars to the public. Edward Snowden, working in U.S. intelligence, could not remain silent knowing that his government was carrying out illegal surveillance of US citizens and world governments.
They could have remained silent but chose the hard road to tell the truth. Now they are being punished cruelly and vindictively by those who broke international laws, the very people who should be held responsible for the deaths of children and civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen…
Currently Assange is in Belmarsh Prison, UK, facing extradition charges to USA, as the British government cooperates with the American Grand Jury to condemn him (an Australian citizen and publisher) to cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment, which could even lead to the death penalty.
Even more insidious, with a few honourable exceptions, the Main Stream Media–if not silent at the unjust torture of Assange by the UK and US governments–collude in the abuse of Assange, a fellow publisher. If Assange is extradited to USA to stand trial and imprisoned for truth telling, thereafter no reporter, newspaper or publisher in the world will be safe from the same treatment by the USA and other repressive governments opposed to public accountability and scrutiny.
Snowden is seeking asylum in Moscow (Russia have just granted him citizenship to help protect his life) and is unable to return to his home in the USA lest he be arrested and confined to an American prison for life.
Manning is in an American prison, having been re-arrested and held because she courageously refuses to give testimony against Assange.
All of these three Champions of Peace followed their consciences, did their duty with love. I am sure that they were afraid, but they endured their Dark Nights of the Soul, they each did something beautiful and magnificent in service of others. We must all be grateful for their uplifting spirits.
The Nobel Committee could protect and help save the lives of these three champions of peace by awarding them the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. By doing so you would honour the will of Nobel, in acknowledging true heroes of Peace. The Nobel committee would also give great hope to publishers, journalists, writers, and many who face repression and persecution by their governments as they struggle to be the writers of truth and history of humanity. Thank you.
By Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Mairead Maguire is co-founder of Peace People, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. She won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her work for peace in Northern Ireland. Her book The Vision of Peace (edited by John Dear, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu and a preface by the Dalai Lama) is available from www.wipfandstock.com. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. See: www.peacepeople.com.
The Peace People began in 1976 as a protest movement against the ongoing violence in Northern Ireland. Its three founders were Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown. Over 100,000 people were involved in the initial movement and two of the founders, Mairead and Betty, received the Nobel Peace Prize for that year. Since its inception, the organization has been committed to building a just, peaceful society through nonviolent means – a society based on respect for each individual, and that has at its core the highest standards of human and civil rights.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 11 Jan 2021. TMS: Nomination of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize